By Su Tong, Howard Goldblatt
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Additional resources for Binu and The Great Wall: The Myth of Meng
They are trying to find their North Mountain gravesites. Other people’s ancestors died of starvation and illness, or of old age, or in war. But our ancestors died of injustice. Guess, child, I want you to guess. Why did they die? Ah, you can guess all you want, but you will never get the right answer. ’ The wild vegetation on the mountain was ideal for eating and its spring water perfect for drinking – except for the water in the pool that formed when water ran down the mountain slope and into Lord Xintao’s empty grave – according to the Kindling Village sorceresses, who were the source of all local knowledge.
The carter was flabbergasted. His eyes lit up like a lantern, and he started to go through the contents. ‘A frog, you say, well I’ll have to see about that. Are you from Huangdian? Those people take a rooster with them everywhere they go, to lead the way. But a frog? ’ ‘I am not from Huangdian, Elder Brother. I live in Peach Village, on the other side of the mountain. My frog is blind and cannot lead me anywhere. ’ ‘How can you say you’re not from Huangdian? Your accent gives you away. You people are too sly to carry a bundle that is worth nothing.
All the horse traders were taken away in the summer, and no one can say whether they are men or ghosts today. How can you expect to hire a horse? You traded away your mulberry trees and your silkworms, didn’t you? Well, if you have the money, why not hire one of my pigs? I’ll show you how to ride it. ’ Binu ignored the ravings of the pig herder and, with worry written all over her face, led the frog past Sude’s pigs, sighing over her fruitless trip to Banqiao. With Qiliang gone, it seemed that nothing remained!
Binu and The Great Wall: The Myth of Meng by Su Tong, Howard Goldblatt